Saying goodbye to an old friend

By | September 7, 2018 6:57 am

By Hansel Moore

These are the final days of the Inn at Fall Creek Falls, as the destruction of the aging buildings has been contracted.

The structure has been part of the landscape for almost five decades, with generations of families who have stayed in the uniquely designed architectural creation. It was not like it’s box-style counterparts that dotted vacation destinations of the early 1970s. Curves of concrete and stone-textured walls made this inn a fortress of retreat from all of the big city cares shed by tourists who flocked to Fall Creek Falls.

Each room had a unique view of the lake and surrounding beauty of the park. The balconies allowed the occupant to watch the sunrise or experience the sounds of nature that encompassed the area. The spacious rooms were affordable for persons on many rungs of the economic ladder.

The rooms were just part of the overall experience of the inn. The dining room, Gaul’s Gallery, was a draw for diners from many counties. The buffet was an eclectic array of choices for the hungry soul; there was never a reason to walk away hungry. In more recent years, the bar was opened for the consumption of adult beverages.

During the holidays, Santa greeted children during the holiday celebrations. Craftsmen from all over the state brought their unique talents to the large conference rooms, as shoppers searched for one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts. Carols would be performed, as the crackling fireplace was enjoyed to warm up cold hikers.

During summer months, the pier was a favorite place to make a few cast into the lake to see if the fish were biting. A smaller swimming pool was available specifically for the guests of the inn and lakeside cabins – no diving board, but it was a comfortable way to escape the summer heat of Tennessee

The walls that used to be adorned with local artist and photographs of Tennessee nature are now awaiting the wrecking ball. The office floors are covered with discarded memos and remnants of a once-upon-a-time vacation destination. There is little left of the interior that would share the memories created as vacationers experienced the jewel of Tennessee state parks.

The conference center hosted numerous conventions over the years. There were many organizations that chose Fall Creek Falls as the place to disseminate information to their organizations and strengthen the camaraderie among co-workers.

It will be a couple of years before families can, once again, host reunions at the park with hotel accommodations. Scheduled to be completed, in 2020, the design plans and drawing of the new inn have been unveiled to display a state-of-the-art facility. Before the construction can begin on the new facility, the destruction and removal of the closed buildings must be completed. While this will be a time-consuming step, the process should be completed by the start of 2019.

The Fall Creek Falls Inn was like the neighbor that you visit to share a glass of sweet tea and a memory with. It has been a loyal companion for local residents and visitors from all corners of the state. The strength of its youth has succumbed to the aging process, and it has been declared that the structure was beyond rehabilitation. We will have to wait to experience the future of lodging at Fall Creek Falls but (until then) will have to say a fond farewell to an old friend.

The new inn is scheduled to be completed, in 2020. Until then, Fall Creek falls offers recently renovated cabins for rent, as well as a variety of family-friendly camping sites for tents and recreational vehicles.

There are a number of other close options available for visitors to the stay while enjoying the area. The Way Inn (located at the south entrance), Cozy Cabins, Deer Creek Falls Cabins, Piney Creek Cabins, Mitchell Manor, and Mountain Glenn RV and Campground are just a few. Share the news – the park (and area) is open to come and enjoy.

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